Dark Horse Pros Launches Crowfunding Site for Athletes

Dark Horse Pros, a company committed to serious athletes, launches their crowdfunding site for athletes in action and extreme sports

Amateur, semi-pro, and pro athletes can now create campaigns on DarkHorsePros.com. Crowdfunding campaigns, once approved, must set a minimum goal of raising $200 and can last up to 30 days. Campaigns must be related to participation in an action or extreme sport and are limited to the current or upcoming season. For additional requirements, check their site.

Dark Horse Pros is a rewards-based all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform. The athlete receives all of the money contributed minus fees if the campaign reaches its funding goal. Fees constitute 5% to Dark Horse Pros and approximately 3% to Stripe for credit card processing. If the campaign misses its funding goal, contributors are not charged.

To explain crowdfunding, Clara McDonald, co-founder of Dark Horse Pros (DHP), said, “Crowd plus funding equals crowdfunding. Your crowd equals Facebook friends, Twitter and Instagram followers, and YouTube subscribers-we like to call them True Fans. And funding equals contributions from True Fans during an online fundraising campaign. The athlete gets the funds and their True Fans receive rewards for contributions. Rewards typically are items or experiences based on various contribution levels-anything from a thank-you, a sticker, or a t-shirt to VIP tickets to a race or a ride with the driver. That’s crowdfunding.”

The backbone of running a successful crowdfunding campaign lies in social media. Each athlete’s social media presence, branding, and relationships with fans are key to successful funding.

Mark McDonald, DHP’s Founder and CEO explains his viewpoint on this niche in the industry, “Current crowdfunding models in sports seem to simply focus on the fundraising mechanism. We believe that athletes also need to focus on developing their brand. Many of the campaigns we have come across take the angle of asking for money in the same way that charities would. We want to help athletes learn how to develop genuine relationships with their fans and stop the sob stories. Crowdfunding is a mechanism for getting fans involved. Fans become a part of the athlete’s journey, rather than just sitting on the sidelines as a spectator.”

As reported by Massolution, crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion (an 81% increase) and successfully funded more than one million campaigns in 2012. Becoming part of the growing industry, according to Director of Marketing, Shannon Woolley, Dark Horse Pros “is not just hopping on the bandwagon. We care about athletes. We want to provide a way to raise funds outside of corporate sponsorships, but also provide what sponsorship does not-interacting with fans. If you have fans contributing even $5 to an athlete’s campaign, they’re literally invested in that athlete’s success.”

Dark Horse Pros focuses on the needs of athletes in action and extreme sports, such as: mountain biking, MMA, kiteboarding, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, BMX, karting, Supercross, Motocross, and desert racing. Gaining traction in motorsports, DHP began sponsoring athletes in April 2014 and has already announced 13 athletes, 12 of which are in motorsports. Check the Dark Horse Pros Crew section, clickable from the home page, for detailed bios of each athlete. More sponsorship announcements are scheduled and additional partnerships are in the works.

Athletes participating in action and extreme sports can now create their crowdfunding campaign at DarkHorsePros.com. Campaign approval takes approximately 2-3 business days, hence campaigns submitted today can begin as early as August 15th, 2014. Officially launched on August 12th, DHP will continue to roll out upgrades to their crowdfunding platform. Check their site (http://www.DarkHorsePros.com) for future announcements.

About Dark Horse Pros

Founded in July 2013 by Mark McDonald, Dark Horse Pros (DHP) is a company seriously committed to serious athletes. DHP’s purpose is to offer an advantage to athletes who may not otherwise have the means to pursue their sport. As such, DHP athletes will use the site to obtain crowdfunding, build brand identity, develop a fan community, connect to fans via media, and attract sponsorship. Their crowdfunding site, DarkHorsePros.com, provides serious funding for serious athletes.

EKN Global Members Discussion: